If you hear the Houston Texans players talk about their Sunday rematch with the New England Patriots, they seem none too worried about what the Pats did to them in their previous matchup; a rout of epic proportions, 42-14.
In fact, they're savoring the role of being heavy underdogs on Sunday, reports Dale Robertson of the Houston Chronicle.
“I love being an underdog,” Andre Johnson said.
“I love it when somebody tells me I can’t do something,” J.J. Watt said.
“I’ve been an underdog all my life,” Antonio Smith said. “I’ve grown to love it. (It) feels good.”
Something tells us they wish they could be in a better position, having limped into the playoffs with their subpar play.
They squandered their opportunities for a bye week, plumetting down to the number 3 seed when they were riding high with confidence only a few weeks before. They lost out on hosting the Patriots and the opportunity to write a big payback story; a "you killed us in Foxboro, now welcome to Houston where we're gonna do the same to you" scenario. Now it's plan B - the poor underdogs... them against the world...
All I know is we’ve got to play real good,” head coach Gary Kubiak said as he sidestepped the whole underdog talk.
“We understand where we’re at as a team and the challenge we have going back up there (to play) a tremendous football team and a franchise that has been at the top, rock solid, for a long time. We’re battling our tail off as an organization to get to this point and play in these type of games.
“I’ve been a part of teams that look like they were in great shape and things didn’t go good and teams that looked like they were in trouble and then played their tail off to win a championship. I don’t think anybody knows what’s going to happen, but I know the team that plays the best football is going to win on Sunday. That’s what I know, so trying to stay focused on that doesn’t matter where you do it. You’ve just got to do it well.”